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Jenn Lawrence
Biopolitical Disaster
September 25, 2017 — Jennifer L. Lawrence

  It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise and was keeping the inhabitants of Macondo in a permanent alteration between excitement and disappointment, doubt and revelation, to such an extreme that no one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay. ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude   In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes an ill-fated town named Macondo. Ironically, the oil prospect where Deepwater… Read More
The Slow Violence of Sprawl — Part II
September 21, 2017 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this series, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources student Marshall Distel introduced us to the concept of slow violence, and explained why the term applies to urban sprawl.] Sprawl and Mass Motorization As American communities have continued to spread across the landscape, commuting distances have increased significantly. Sprawl and low-density developments have facilitated an increase in car dependency, traffic congestion, and commute-to-work times (Lucy & Phillips, 2006). In fact, traffic growth and annual vehicle miles traveled… Read More
Student Spotlight: Emily Hansroth
September 18, 2017 — Alec Masella

Environmental and Safety engineer Emily Hansroth focuses on health and safety compliance issues at aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin. Her professional role, along with a desire to return to her environmental science roots, provided the motivation she needed to join the current Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) cohort in January. “If you know you have some kind of passion for an environmental topic, being part of the [XMNR] program is beneficial. It provides the big picture,” she explains.… Read More
The Slow Violence of Sprawl — Part I
September 14, 2017 — Marshall B. Distel

For decades, residential subdivisions have been expanding rapidly across the landscape of the United States. The population density of entire metropolitan areas has also been decreasing (Lucy & Phillips, 2006). In the early 1920s, the average population density within American metropolitan areas was about 6,160 persons per square mile; however, by the 1990s, density had significantly decreased to 1,469 persons per square mile (Benfield et al., 1999). “Suburbanization” and “sprawl” are the terms that are often used to describe this… Read More
Water and Conflict
September 6, 2017 — Desiree Di Mauro, Rebecca Patton

There are many anecdotes about water wars, particularly in the folklore of the US desert southwest.  In reality, water management during times of scarcity has been more of a convening force than a conflict driver.  There are multiple examples of nations coming together to ensure at least a relatively equitable distribution of this precious natural resource. The Nile is probably the best known example, but  the best reference for the  historic agreements (over 300 examples) is the "Atlas of International… Read More